Cover photo for Earl   Baish's Obituary
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1931 Earl 2023

Earl Baish

September 23, 1931 — May 20, 2023

A celebration of life service for Earl Baish, age 91, of Milford and formerly of Lake Park, will be held at 1 pm, Friday, May 26, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in West Okoboji. To watch the recording of the service, click the following link:

https://youtu.be/OPf1ljGHTrE

. Visitation will begin Thursday, May 25, 2023, starting at 5 pm, with the family present from 5-7 pm at First Lutheran Church in West Okoboji. Interment will be at Harrison Township Cememtery near May City, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Melvin American Legion Post 470 or the Milford American Legion Post 384 in Earl’s name.

Earl Paul Baish was born September 23, 1931, in rural Spencer to Ernest and Emily (Kachele) Baish; he was the 5th of 6 children. He was raised on the family home place southeast of Spencer.

He attended Hopewell Country School before graduating from Greenville and Rossie High school in 1949 at 17 years of age. After high school, Earl worked for area farmers before being drafted into the United States Military on November 2, 1952. He served 2 years in Fort Riley, KS and 9 months in Schweinfurt, Germany. While serving as a cook in the military, he found a love for food and became a wonderful cook. After returning home, he worked at Harms Implement in Everly, Iowa until the spring of 1956 when he began farming.

Before being drafted, Earl’s heart was captured by the young and beautiful Betty Lou Vetter while roller-skating at the Majestic Roller Rink, in Arnolds Park. During his time at Fort Riley, Earl would make trips back to Northwest Iowa to visit Betty. The two were joined in marriage on April 8, 1956, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in May City, IA, where they became lifelong active members. The couple welcomed two children into the world, Ricky and Mary.

Earl and Betty began their farming life together around the Hartley/May City area before moving to the Vetter family homestead and assuming responsibility of the farming operation there. Earl farmed this ground until 1993 when he decided to “retire” or change his title to “management” when his son took over the farming operation.

During his years of farming, he also raised cattle, sheep, and hogs. Earl was a well-rounded man who was very involved throughout the community. Throughout his life, he was a Westport Township Trustee, reporter for the USDA office, St. John’s Lutheran Church Council Officer, worked for the Dickinson County Board of Review, Dickinson County Election Official, County Field Property Assessor, H-LP School Board member, and a member of the Melvin American Legion Post 470 until recently when he joined the Milford American Legion Post 384.

Earl became an expert craftsman in both woodworking and welding. He could spend hours in his shop fiddling around and creating the most wonderful pieces of art from any old piece of farm equipment. Earl also cherished his afternoon coffee at the elevator, chatting with a stranger turned friend, Sunday drives in his old car, and cruising the lake on the pontoon, even though he always said he “floats like a rock”. While he enjoyed his time working in his machine shed or wood shop, there is nothing Earl loved more than spending his time supporting his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in their various ventures. Countless hours were spent in the car traveling to events, and in auditorium or stadium seats through his years. He taught life skills as he helped with hundreds of 4H projects, in between races on the old mopeds, home run derbies in the yard, and an abundance of scoops of ice cream (or his perfected homemade ice cream) before bed during summer sleepovers at the farm.

There are few people in the world who have the capacity to love and be loved the way Earl did. His family, friends, and countless others will miss his mischievous grin, joyful giggle, and unconditional love.

Earl suffered a stroke on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, and passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Lakes Regional Hospital in Spirit Lake, Iowa at 91 years of age. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Betty Lou, his parents Ernest and Emily, siblings Elmer, Viola, Helen (Ludwig) Christensen, Karl (Janice), Ernest, and brother-in-law Marlin Vetter and his wife, Ruth, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Left to cherish his memory are his son Ricky (Kerrie) Baish, and daughter Mary (Jay) Weaver both of Milford, IA. His grandchildren Holly (Mike) Beckmann of Mankato, MN; Wesley (Michelle Palm) Baish of St. Paul, MN; Spenser (Sara) Taylor, Tanner (Kirsten) Taylor, and Abby (Luke) Forsling of the Lakes area. His great-grandchildren Elias and Elliana Beckmann; Cal, Ada, and Tyce Taylor; Iva Lou and Alice Forsling; many other beloved family and friends.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Earl Baish, please visit our flower store.

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